Tuesday, 3 December 2013
There is a lot of discussion about online shopping versus in person shopping at retail outlets. Are shops and stores suffering because of an inability to match online prices; should the Goods and Services Tax apply online and if so at what level?
I've been shopping online for ages. That is; if you regard using my computer for theatre bookings, flight bookings, hotel reservations, car hire, travel insurance as online shopping. Even more so if you take into account online banking and payment of bills as online shopping. But I don't think that is what most people consider to be 'shopping'. I imagine most people think of online shopping as something you purchase online that has to be delivered to you.
I dipped my first toe in the water of online shopping about ten days ago. It has not gone well.
I tried on a pair of jeans at a store, found they fit well and that I liked them and decided I wanted to purchase multiple pairs. Unfortunately the store only had one pair in my size and two other stores in the same chain had none.
I went online to locate other stores in the chain that I could visit and found the jeans, in my size, available for purchase online. Not only available for purchase online but available for purchase $30 cheaper than the pair I purchased in the store.
Well, I thought, what better opportunity to start online shopping than this? I ordered and paid for the jeans online. I received an immediate email confirming the purchase and informing me I would be notified of the progress of the delivery of my purchase to my home. How wonderful!
True to the promise, two emails followed 'tracking' the delivery. Terrific, I thought.
Then something strange. A third email. My purchase had been delivered. But it hadn't. Not to me anyway. It was signed for by someone at Alexandria. I don't live at Alexandria. The delivery address was not Alexandria.
Now I'm in a formal complaints process with Australia Post to ascertain, who in Alexandria has taken delivery of my purchase, why they have done so and how do I get my purchase delivered to me.
Monday, 2 December 2013
|(Sydney Theatre Company)|
A line in 'Waiting for Godot' something along the lines 'nothing much happens, no-one comes and no-one goes' pretty well describes Samuel Beckett's highly regarded play about two homeless men filling in time waiting for the mysterious and unseen Godot to arrive. No-one seems to know who Godot is, what he does or what will happen when he arrives but does that matter?
Not really, especially when performances are as outstanding as in this Sydney Theatre Company staging. Richard Roxburgh, Hugo Weaving, Philip Quast and Luke Mullins deliver the exceptional performances.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
'One Chance' is the story of Paul Potts, the shy carphone salesman, who dreamed of an operatic career and who entered and won Britain's Got Talent in 2007.
This is yet another of those British comedy dramas about someone on struggle street overcoming the odds to realise their dreams.
James Corden is engaging as Potts and scenes set in Venice provide a bright counterpoint to dour Welsh scenery.
There are no real surprises and although the film is somewhat a case of 'heartwarming by numbers' it still is a pleasant way to spend a hundred minutes.
Saturday, 30 November 2013
In what I imagine was a coincidence in timing Sydney has just had a short season of the stage production Carrie The Musical just as a film remake of the iconic 1976 horror film Carrie is released in Sydney.
It is difficult to imagine that Stephen King's horror short story could be turned into a musical but this is exactly what was done in 1988 in a production by no less than the Royal Shakespeare Company in England and subsequently on Broadway the same year in a production that lasted only 16 previews and 5 performances despite all the shows being sold out. The financial backers withdrew in the face of mixed reviews.
In fact the musical is surprisingly good, especially the first act although the second act falls away somewhat in comparison.
The Sydney staging was by Squabbalogic Independent Music Theatre a quirky theatre company I had never heard about and what an unexpected pleasure the production proved to be. The mostly young cast of aspiring performers was very good. The small orchestra played well and the simple staging was effective throughout.
Thursday, 28 November 2013
I haven't read the Hunger Games books nor did I see the initial film so I have come to the second film in the series, 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' without foreknowledge.
The film is set at some future date with a community divided between those who live in the Capital, who appear to have a comfortable existence under the rule of a Dictator, and those living in outlying regions referred to simply by numbered Districts. The District residents mostly live in oppressed conditions in a barren industrial environment.
To distract the residents of the Districts periodic Games are held comprising representatives of each District who face life and death challenges in a sort of super reality series broadcast presumably to the citizens. The competitors must compete both as individuals and as teams in cutthroat activities with the one who defies death the longest being the winner.
Well, that's what I sort of gathered from this standalone film which provides no introductory recap of the earlier edition for we newbies to the series. The plot seems to have evolved using the Biblical book of Exodus for inspiration mixed with an extreme adaptation of reality television programs such as Big Brother, Survivor and The Apprentice. There is no specific ending for this film which cuts off abruptly obviously setting up for the sequel.
As with most fantasy adventures the plot contains more holes than a portion of swiss cheese but as an entertainment it is surprisingly effective despite the frustration of an ending without conclusion.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
'Adoration', apparently released elsewhere under the title 'Adore' has a very French sensibility which would explain the heavy French influence in its production. Based on a short story, 'The Grandmothers', by recently deceased Noble Laureate for Literature, Doris Lessing, the film has also been known as 'Two Mothers' and 'Perfect Mothers'. Does this suggest uncertainty about the film's identity or marketability?
The story will not appeal to everyone. Two mothers, friends since childhood, each enters into an affair with the other's son.
Set in Australia on the NSW Central Coast, the scenery and images are often spectacular and are very reminiscent of Australian summer beach holidays of years gone by. Many North American actors fail to master an Australian accent usually sounding more Cockney than Antipodean but Robin Wright, whilst not perfect, makes a good fist of the task.
Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville provide splendid eye candy but the plot is rather farfetched.